Simple Pleasures

You may think I am crazy when I tell you how the ridiculously small pleasures of life rule me 24/7. It’s what I believe in and enjoy. I need nothing else. I have a feeling many, if not most of you, can relate to the simple lifestyle that brings so much pleasure.

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, if you have a big house or a little house, or whatever your lifestyle is. We all enjoy aspects of our home, our life, and our routines. They are so pleasurable we look forward to them every day. I’ll share mine with you.

Every day that I walk down the driveway, the lines on the roof of the house pop out to me. Two chimneys are the only protuberances that interrupt the flow of the lines. Very unique and different from most homes, and I never tire of looking at them.


The floor plan in my cozy house flows circuitously. It’s like the path of life I follow every day. It directs me from outside, to the swimming pool, to the bathroom, to the den, to the living room, through the dining room, to the kitchen and back to the swimming pool. Off-shoot rooms of a bedroom and a walk-in closet can be found in between.

It’s not so much the rooms that mostly excite me (but they do). It’s the little things that turn me on in the rooms. Take the swimming pool, for example. A vintage rocking chair located next to the wood-burning stove puts me to sleep in a second. There are three large empty chemical buckets, which hold kindling for starting a fire, wood chips to bank the fire, and hold ashes for distribution back to the soil. They surround the chair. Each bucket has additional roles.

They are ugly as hell, but when I use cast iron pizza pans to serve as lids, they hold my reading glasses, TV remote control, and I eat some delicious meals off them. I can sit next to them and reach everything, including my reading and writing paraphernalia. I’m happy as a lark and could sit there ’till the cows come home. I love my routine and my surroundings.


I’ve figured out how to manage my time and energy. I love that challenge. Cold winter days encourage me to rapidly seek the toasty water, swimming in 90-degree water. The pleasure of the swim is the euphoric high I get when I’m finished.

My path of life takes me to my bathroom. The enjoyment I derive from its gigantic shower head, parts of it removed, which is a blatant misuse of the water that cascades upon me. It could drown me.

The “drowned me” urgently needs a towel to dry off. I just slide the shower door open and, low and behold, there is a rack which looks like a tree with 13 branches hanging from it. At an arm’s reach are a tremendously large beach towel and my comfy clothes. I can’t wait to put them on. The exit and entry doors of the bathroom hold 17 hooks which support additional favorite clothes.

The path takes me to the den, which has a sliding glass door and an 11-foot window which takes up the entire outer wall of the house. It’s calling out for me to install a third wood-burning stove to add to my enjoyment.

I’m taking a detour from my path to enter a bedroom converted to a walk-in closet. Cables from two useless tennis nets are stretched the entire length of both sides of the room. Hanging off them are 40 years of free Prince clothing—hats, t-shirts, dress tennis shirts, shorts, socks, shoes, and warmups are on display. The only item they didn’t give me was underwear. I take great pleasure knowing I’m satisfying one of three basic human needs—food, shelter, and especially clothing!

Ah, my favorite room! It is the living room with an as-big-as-they-make-’em gas-fired stone fireplace. It’s so cozy. I can shrink the room’s size with a pocket door and a French accordion door to contain heat in the winter and cooled air in the summer. What I enjoy most about that room is sitting there with my wife Mary Ellen. It’s quiet time at 6:30 every night when we watch the terrific David Muir deliver the news. Then Jeopardy comes on. Mary Ellen answers so many questions correctly I tell her she should be on the show. After a while, her knowledge gives me such an inferiority complex I leave the room to go cook.


I love the numerous simple pleasure the kitchen gives me: from the “they-don’t-make-’em-like-they-used-to’ carving knives inherited from my father to my multipurpose stools to how I can extend areas in the kitchen to make them even more flexible and useful.

The knives hold such a great edge that you could shave with them.  Mary Ellen gave me a top-of-the-line sharpener to keep them that way. I love the five stools I have to sit on. Two are piano stools which spin up and down, depending on whether I’m using them to cook, eat, watch television, or have my beer.

I am always thinking of ways to get the most use out of everything around me and how to make things easier for myself. There’s a middle drawer in the kitchen that holds all kinds of cooking utensils. When the utensil drawer is open, I can cover it with a 16”-cast iron pizza pan. The drawer and its pizza pan still slide in and out together if I want the drawer out of the way. Or I can use it as an extra surface to put hot pans on or eat off. I can even lift the pan out and use the pan as a tray to carry the cooked meals to somewhere else in the house. I love my glass-covered electric stove too. Besides cooking on it, it serves as extra counter that’s easy to clean.


Guess what! We are now back in the swimming pool room where we started, and I’m on my way outside to blow the debris off the tennis court. I’m always early for commitments and allow 15 minutes of quiet time after blowing the court to sit and smell the flowers before my ladies come to drill.

The tennis is finished, and the ladies have kept me alive for another day. I’m now on my way to the golf course. It takes three minutes to back my scooter golf cart and clubs out of the gazebo and hook them up. I put my yellow safety vest on and my hat and helmet.

The pleasure of my ride to the golf course is my dialogue with neighbors I’ve never met. I’ve bonded with my neighbors with the toot of my scooter’s horn, a big hello with my booming voice, and a dangerous one-arm wave from the cycle. I’ve repeated this ritual so often my neighbors hear me coming and wave to me before I can get my clumsy finger on the horn. Boy, do I relish the ride! Through her iPhone, Mary Ellen knows exactly where I am at all times. She can monitor me right up to the time I ride my cycle, cart, and clubs up the ramp and into the gazebo.


That’s what my days are like—a routine that gives me so much pleasure in these golden years. But it doesn’t matter what age, it’s just so very gratifying to enjoy those pleasures of life, whatever they may be. Simple pleasures—a simple way to enjoy a beautiful life!


  1. Bill Holmes

    Marty, sounds like you’re doing well.
    I’m glad.
    Char and I are doing fine also. Heading to MS for the summer ( July/August) to hot down here.
    Enjoy your little stories .

    PS: Char and I watch Jeopardy every night.
    Sometimes I win , sometimes she wins..

    Bill & Char Holmes

  2. Gail Ann Palatine

    Another “Marty, 0le Buddy “ article that made my my day. This Simple Pleasures narrative was the best. I relished every moment of reading it!

  3. Laura Warner

    Your embrace of life, your wonderful home, the simple pleasures, (and of Mary Ellen!) are such an inspiration. You are indeed a “rich” man, admired and loved by many. ❤️

  4. Marleen Young

    Home is where the heart is and your wonderful home is keeping you happy and content. Life is indeed grand!

  5. Melissa McKillip

    You are blessed Marty with a happy, contented and a truly beautiful soul! And your tennis ladies (me!) are so blessed to have you in our lives. Your positivity is infectious & Fridays are always one of my favorite days. I get my Marty fix – it’s a very appreciated part of my week. Bob just told me yesterday that he looks forward to being with you on Wednesday more than anything at work – and he enjoys his work! What a profound & lovely effect you have on others! And I love your attitude of gratitude. You are an inspiration!

  6. Shotgun Betty

    Your article brings to mind the acronym K.I.S.S., but in your case , subtract the final S ! Either through pressures in life or the desire to accomplish more than we are capable of, too many people try to be something they’re not. NOT MARTY. You know yourself, know what makes you happy, and don’t try to be anything else. I admire that so much, Marty. You’re a gem, and we need more Martys in the world.

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